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5 Companies That Came To Win This Week

For the week ending Feb. 28, CRN takes a look at the companies that brought their 'A' game to the channel.

The Week Ending Feb. 28

Topping this week’s list of companies that came to win is HP, which made some key defensive moves this week in battling Xerox’s hostile takeover bid by launching a shareholder value plan.

Also making the "Came to Win" list are SADA Systems for its big investment in becoming a Google Cloud MSP partner, Intel for its new chip lineup that includes support for 5G networks, Lenovo for a savvy channel executive hire, and database vendor MemSQL for taking on industry giant Oracle with a new marketing campaign.

Not everyone in the IT industry was making smart moves this week, of course. For a rundown of companies that were unfortunate, unsuccessful or just didn't make good decisions, check out this week's Five Companies That Had A Rough Week roundup.

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HP Announces $16B Shareholder Return Program As It Battles Xerox Takeover Bid

HP this week said it will return $16 billion in capital to shareholders over the next three fiscal years in a move to shore up shareholder loyalty and fend off Xerox’s hostile takeover bid.

The capital plan will include an $8 billion share buyback that is targeted for the 12 months following HP’s 2020 annual meeting. Additional share repurchases could follow as the company expands its total share repurchase authorization to $15 billion from $5 billion.

The company also will boost its long-term capital return target to 100 percent of free cash flow “unless higher return opportunities emerge,” the company said.

Xerox has promised to launch a tender offer early next month and ask HP shareholders to sell their shares to Xerox. But HP is responding forcefully saying Xerox’s offer significantly undervalues HP. The company’s recent quarter and announcement of the shareholder value plan has eroded the chances that Xerox’s takeover bid will succeed, according to a J.P. Morgan analyst.

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SADA Systems Sets Sights On $500 Million In Google MSP Revenue

Solution provider SADA Systems is thinking big with its Google Cloud alliance.

This week SADA Systems, which earned the Google Cloud Global Reseller Partner of the Year award for 2018, said it will heavily invest in an MSP practice around some of Google’s most cutting-edge products including the Anthos Kubernetes platform, data analytics and warehousing, and artificial intelligence contact centers.

The commitment includes increased spending by the solution provider for engineering, including creating technical account management teams that focus on customer success after workloads are migrated to Google Cloud.

Google, in return, is providing incentives and support to help SADA Systems place those big bets. The alliance builds on the incentives Google Cloud offers partners through the MSP program it launched last year.

SADA Systems said the shared commitment with Google will drive $500 million in managed services revenue over the next three years.

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Intel Makes 5G Play With New Chip Lineup

Intel this week enhanced its second-generation Xeon Scalable processor line, including introducing new chips that work with the new Xeon CPUs that provide a foundation for building future-facing 5G infrastructures.

Intel sees computers and surrounding technology, centered on the cloud, generating vast amounts of data to be moved, stored and processed. 5G builds on that, making possible other leading IT such as IoT, edge computing and artificial intelligence available for next-generation applications and services.

This week Intel unveiled the Intel Atom P5900 processor, which is designed for 5G’s high-bandwidth and low-latency requirements. The chip features Intel Dynamic Load Balancer, which provides 3.7 times the packet processing throughput of software-based technologies, the company said. It also features up to 1.8 times the integer throughput of the Atom C3000 processors and up to 5.6 times the cryptography throughput of software-based technologies.

Intel also introduced the Intel Xeon Gold 6200R and Intel Gold 5200R series processors for mainstream workloads and the Intel Gold 6256 processor for high-performance workloads. The company is also promising greater hardware security capabilities for Xeon server processors.

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Lenovo Hires Former EMC, Arrow Channel Exec To Drive Partner Growth

Lenovo wins kudos for making a savvy hire, recruiting channel veteran Pete Koliopoulos this week to boost partner engagement, expand partner programs and drive better synergies between the company’s Data Center Group and Intelligent Device Group.

Koliopoulos became Lenovo’s new global channels strategy director for its Data Center Group on Monday. His responsibilities include developing and executing on all global channel strategy growth plans in support of the company’s Data Center Group business with a focus on partner recruitment and activation.

Koliopoulos is a five-time CRN Channel Chief recipient. He worked at EMC between 2003 and 2011, serving as vice president of global channel marketing. He later became vice president of marketing in North America across all business lines for distributor Arrow Electronics.

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MemSQL Launches ‘Dear Larry’ Campaign Encouraging Customers To ‘Dump Oracle’

Next-generation database developer MemSQL has launched an aggressive “Dump Oracle” marketing campaign in a bid to convince large enterprise customers to switch from Oracle database systems to MemSQL’s software.

The San Francisco company has been posting ads on billboards and kiosks in San Francisco and New York that begin “Dear Larry” and go on to say: “This relationship is not working. I’m ditching you for someone who treats me like I matter…”

One of the several billboards that went up Monday appeared at the busy Caltrain station in San Francisco.

MemSQL was using the National Breakup Day, which follows Valentine’s Day, as the meme for its campaign.

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